War and Peace
No matter what you do, people will always be at war.… We read the history of five, six, seven thousand years ago – before that we don’t know anything. We see the tribes have always been fighting with each other, countries have always been fighting with each other, people have always been fighting with each other, families have always been having family feuds. This has always been going on, and this will continue.
Maharaj Charan Singh, Spiritual Perspectives, Vol. I
We are living in troubled times. When we turn on the news, it is filled with pain and suffering – wars, suicide bombers, mass shootings, political upheaval, terrorist attacks and on and on. And we fear that events of this magnitude may interfere with our way of life.
How much attention do we give to these things? Do we – followers and initiates of a Master – worry about world and local politics or being injured in a terrorist attack? Do we scour the latest news for the latest stories on whatever topic we are worried about? Do we blog about these things? Do we read every post of our politically-motivated Facebook friends and get just as riled up as they do about the injustices of the world? How much are we agitating our minds and reinforcing our negativity worrying about these things?
Hazur says in Spiritual Perspectives, Vol. I:
You cannot reform the world. But you can reform yourself so that you are not affected by peoples’ fights, their quarrels, because everybody is being dominated by the mind. As long as the mind is ruling us, there will always be war. This is ego which puts us against one another. And due to that ego, we are part of this creation.
The ego is our sense of self as an entity separate from all others. It is the uncontrolled ego that causes conflict in the world. Individual egos want what they do not have and believe it is their right to take it by force. It is this ego that binds us to the creation through its desires and the actions taken to fulfil them. This is how we continue to sow the seeds of karmas that keep us in the cycle of birth and death.
All this fighting and upheaval and wars will continue; we cannot control them, so we have to rise above them with our meditation and obtain inner peace. That inner peace will shine from us and affect everyone we meet. This is how we can influence what is happening in the world – by changing ourselves to become more content, more peaceful, more loving. Hazur continues:
You go to a miserable man and in two minutes he will make you miserable. You go to a happy person and in two minutes he will make you forget all your worries and problems and make you happy. Because you always radiate what you have.
This is why the Masters encourage us to look at what we fill our minds with. TV programs and novels about murder and other atrocities affect our mind. They depress us and encourage negative thinking that helps make us continuously unhappy. Uplifting stories about people showing love and compassion to one another encourage positive thinking and make us happy.
Our minds are affected by what we talk about and what we listen to. Spending time with satsangi friends can be uplifting if we talk about Master and the path. But if instead we only talk about everything that is wrong with the world or gossip about each other, it can lower our spirits and encourage negative thinking. We have to watch what we feed our mind because the mind can raise us up or drag us down.
Being aware of what is going on around us and taking positive action is not a bad thing. The obstacle is only in the degree of attention we give to negative events in the world. If we become obsessed with these problems, our meditation will suffer and that is the one thing that we must protect. Meditation is important to our lives because it will give us the inner peace we need so that we are not affected by worldly events.
Hazur concludes by saying, “We should try to obtain peace within ourselves. If we are able to get peace within ourselves, we will radiate peace wherever we go.”
We can be happy only when we go back and merge into the Father. We can be happy only when we are on the path to our home.… When you see your home from a distance, you are happy that you have seen it, yet you are still away from your house. The actual peace you will get only when you enter your house, when you are in your home. Similarly, the nearer we are to the Lord, the nearer we are to our destination, the more contentment we feel within; the more bliss, the more peace, the more happiness we feel within. The true and eternal happiness, bliss, peace and contentment we can feel only when the soul is merged back into the Lord.
Maharaj Charan Singh, Spiritual Perspectives, Vol. III